I want to preface this by saying that there will be complaining in what follows, but I want to start by saying that being a stay at home mom is such a joy in my life. I delight in seeing my sweet little babies learn to walk and talk. I am also homeschooling so watching the light bulb flicker to life as my six year old gets the "CH" sound is one of the highlights of my life.
I recently read an article called "Being a Stay at Home Mom is not a Job". Despite my blood beginning to boil at the very idea of it I read it anyway. It was a women who felt that staying at home is a privilege but those of us who choose that lifestyle and are unemployed have no right to call it a job, and though I found a lot she had to say loud, obnoxious, and distasteful there were a couple points I agreed with.
One, it is a privilege. I know that. There are definitely days that I forget it it, but I know it. I know that I would miss out on a lot if I sent my kids to daycare. First steps, first words, and funny phrases are just some of the many things I would be missing out on if I was not the primary caregiver. I know that there are many working mother's out there who would give just about anything to watch their kids growing up from the perspective I get to see mine.
The second thing that she was right about is that it is not a job. Calling it a job would be an enormous understatement. It is much more time consuming and much less fulfilling on the short term than a job. I am on duty 24/7. I get no vacation days, I get no sick time. I get no paycheck. It's not a job its a long never-ending slog. I spend all my days with three little people who need to be fed, clothed, bathed, cuddled, comforted, entertained, and educated. There are moments of wonder, moments when I can't believe how lucky I am but there are many more moments of isolation, irritation, loneliness, desperation, and exhaustion.
It is frustrating being a passenger in my own life. 6 years ago I made a decision to let my husband drive because I put my education on hold and gave up a having career to raise our children. I have watched as my husband has struggled to determine our path through HIS education and HIS career. I have shed many tears wondering how we are going to stretch our pennies and feeling helpless, especially lately.I don't want to give up my life with my kids, for any reason, not because I am broke, and not because I sometimes want more in my life than being an unpaid cook, maid, and child care giver.
Now we are hitting a major snag in our lives financially. I won't go into to many details, but I will admit that a good portion of it is poor decisions and money management. My husband and I are talking about me trying to find a job I can do from home. I have begun wading through the scams and real jobs on the Internet. My lack of education and experience are a hindrance to any job I might apply for. With a six and a half year gap in my resume I probably only qualify for something like burger flipper, however I still don't want to be stuck doing something I absolutely hate.
What I want is to be a writer. I have wanted it for a long time. I want to be a real writer, not just a mom who writes a blog. I spend hours thinking about stories, reading books, typing on my computer and scribbling in journals. I would LOVE for someone to pay me for this task that I already do. In my desperation for extra funds I began a search online for writing jobs. One thing became clear very quickly I do not have enough education, nor enough experience to qualify for anything. Most people reading this will probably think that I am foolish and naive to think that I could jump in and just get into my field of choice without some serious changes to the way I currently live, and maybe they are right.
You may wonder about what the point is in all of this. The first is I want to be a writer so naturally I
am writing. I am writing what I know. I am writing what I am passionate about. the second point is that I hope that someone who is struggling like me will read this and feel some comfort in the fact that they are not really alone in what they are going through. I hope that someone will come to the understanding that stay at home parents do not have to feel guilty for wanting more, or wanting it all. Maybe I will someday learn that lesson myself.